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Song Meanings - OMD Enola Gay

Updated on February 27, 2011

Sounds from the 80's

Enola Gay Lyrics

Enola gay, you should have stayed at home yesterday
Aha words cant describe the feeling and the way you lied

These games you play, they're gonna end it more than tears someday
Aha enola gay, it shouldn't ever have to end this way

Its 8:15, and that's the time that its always been
We got your message on the radio, conditions normal and you're coming home

Enola gay, is mother proud of little boy today
Aha this kiss you give, its never ever gonna fade away

Enola gay, it shouldnt ever have to end this way
Aha enola gay, it shouldn't fade in our dreams away

Mushroom cloud over Hiroshima
Mushroom cloud over Hiroshima

This is Not a Love Song

As Johnny Rotton famously sang "this is not a love song" for those who thought that this was about a lovers fight or the break up of a marriage, unfortunately it isn't. Instead it's the story behind the dropping of the worlds first atomic bomb during World War Two.

In 1980 when Andy McCluskey, OMD's bass player penned this, Thatcherism was in full swing in the UK. unemployment was rising, new anti-union laws were coming in daily and American nuclear cruise missiles were about to be stationed at Greenham Common. Against this background the song was written and maybe expressed McCluskey's feelings against nuclear weapons.

Enola Gay
Enola Gay
Little Boy
Little Boy

The Story

On the 6th August 1945, a B29 Superfortress armed with a nuclear bomb flew over Hiroshima and dropped its deadly cargo. Two minutes later over 140,000 people died, almost half of them in an instant. On 9th August another bomb was detonated over Nagasaki killing over 80,000 inhabitants, two days later the Japanese surrendered and bought an end to the Second World War.

The B29 bomber was flown by Captain Paul Tibbets and named after his mother, Enola Gay. flying from Iwo Jima with two other escort planes filled with measuring equipment and cameras it was carrying the worlds first nuclear bomb to be used in war, codenamed "Little Boy". At 8:15am, 2000 ft over Hiroshima, as everyone was on their way to work, it exploded. The effect as Andy lyrically puts it, instantly "kissing" the earth and leaving a mark that will never fade away .

As the plane turned and furiously flew to get away from the effects it was shaken and rocked by the blast but everything was alright. The radio operator Richard H. Nelson sent out a coded message which read. "conditions normal in airplane following delivery proceeding to base".

And that's how Tibbets' mother Enola Gay, became further immortalized.

Little Boy wasn't a rejected lovers pet name.

And things were anything but conditions normal on the radio at 8:15. Although the detonation of the bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki brought about the end to the Second World War buty as the lyrics ask, should it ever had to end this way, .


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    • littlebogi1 profile image

      littlebogi1 2 years ago from Goffstown, New Hampshire

      At the time plans were being made for the invasion of Japan. The estimated allied casualties was over 200,000, the decision was made to end the years long war and save those alled lives. That decision should never be second guessed. I was overjoyed when my uncles came home safe and sound. I am thankful to have had them and the memories they gave in my life

    • profile image

      Joe Below 8 years ago

      First time I heard this song was on my C-64, part of a demo. (along with synth sample from george feit -good memories)

      This song made me learn a bit about our dark history.

      Poor Enola Gay...

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Oh, I liked this hub. I already knew that the Enola Gay was the plane that delivered the atomic bombs to Japan, but I never heard that song.

      Well-written and concise; it was a moving hub--and it let the facts speak for themselves.

    • profile image

      Nancy's Niche 8 years ago

      WAR—nobody wins ---innocent children pay the price, people suffer and die, all because of power struggles. I wish we could all live in peace; just live and let live…

      “War does not determine who is right - only who is left.” ~Bertrand Russell

      “I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, "Mother, what was war?" ~Eve Merriam